§ Ms Rosie Winterton
[holding answer 23 February 2004]: The resource s for general dental services (CDS) which are currently held centrally will be devolved to primary care trusts (PCTs) from 1 April 2005. PCTs will be notified of these devolved dentistry budgets for 2005–06 during Autumn 2004. The dentistry budgets will be issued alongside PCTs' general allocations. The allocations will include funds currently spent on emergency dental services.
We have guaranteed that dentists working in the GDS will have an automatic right to a contract under the new arrangements and that their gross earnings will be protected over the transition period of three years. During this period. PCTs' newly devolved dentistry allocations will represent a minimum level of spend on national health service dentistry which PCTs must maintain.